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View Full Version : is there a consensus yet - which NP pellet is best?


jeremy K
07/01/2010, 06:15 PM
So the title says it all. These "solid vodka" pellets have been around for a few months now. Is there a consensus yet as to which is most effective, easiest to use, etc? There are so many to choose from, and I'm not even sure yet if any of them really work...

bmwaaron
07/01/2010, 06:28 PM
I belive they all work. I dont think the Warner Marine Ecobak and the Vertex Pro Biopellets have been out as long though. I am using the Vertex but cant give you a honest opinion since Im on my 5th day.

reef_doug
07/01/2010, 06:44 PM
I would say it's still to early to tell which one is best. The Warner Marine EcoBAK is barely available at retailers.

Hdhuntr01
07/01/2010, 07:00 PM
I belive they all work. I dont think the Warner Marine Ecobak and the Vertex Pro Biopellets have been out as long though. I am using the Vertex but cant give you a honest opinion since Im on my 5th day.

Not wanting to steal this thread but asking a relevant question. I just ordered some Vertex Pro Biopellets and am curious to know how YOU are using them. I have a Deluxe BRS GFO and Carbon Reactor and was going to fill it and pump water through it then back into the sump on my 150G Reef Tank. If this is what you are doing then what would the appropriate water flow (GPH) be through the reactor?

Thanks

Felixc395
07/01/2010, 10:24 PM
I'm ordering some biopellets for my new aquarium and would like to hear some good advice too. Vertex pellets are about $15 cheaper than NP biopellets so that's always a plus I guess.

sedor
07/01/2010, 10:31 PM
I've been use WM EcoBak pellets on my system for about a week now and i'm looking forward to the results. In all the research i've done i've seen quality results in all the different brands. Best option IMO is to pick one and give it a fair chance by sticking with it for a while.

daveonbass
07/02/2010, 03:45 AM
in short, the best one is one that WORKS. It seems that all the brands have had successes, but still some are not working well for everyone. I, for example, am using the original NP Bio Pellets and still have not seen any amazing results (reductions in either N or P) in a couple of months. My levels are not "rising" but they are not going down either. So if you try one and it works...then stick with it.

jeremy K
07/02/2010, 04:11 AM
in short, the best one is one that WORKS. It seems that all the brands have had successes, but still some are not working well for everyone. I, for example, am using the original NP Bio Pellets and still have not seen any amazing results (reductions in either N or P) in a couple of months. My levels are not "rising" but they are not going down either. So if you try one and it works...then stick with it.

See, this is what I mean, and why I originally raised the question. I hear stories about people buying these biopellets and reactors, spending upwards of $100-$200, and then having results like this - no reduction in N or P, no change in SPS coloration - ie. NO RESULTS. I guess it would be nice to know, of all people who have tried the various options of biopellets, which ones work the most consistently. Unfortunately we may need to wait a few more months to know for sure.

mano84
07/02/2010, 06:09 AM
no reduction in N or P, no change in SPS coloration - ie. NO RESULTS.

Since I have followed the thread about the original pellets I know that you are misinterpreting Dave a bit, even though he haven't seen the pellets reduce his nutrition levels, they have been keeping it constant (or close to constant) between water changes enabling water changes to lower his nutrition levels.

So there have been results, the results haven't been a reduction but instead they have put a stop to the previous accumulation.

jeremy K
07/02/2010, 07:17 AM
Since I have followed the thread about the original pellets I know that you are misinterpreting Dave a bit, even though he haven't seen the pellets reduce his nutrition levels, they have been keeping it constant (or close to constant) between water changes enabling water changes to lower his nutrition levels.

So there have been results, the results haven't been a reduction but instead they have put a stop to the previous accumulation.

Very well, so I mis-spoke when I said "no results", but I don't think I exaggerate when I say that results like this are less than ideal. I think what we are all hoping for in these pellets is an actual reduction of nutrients, enabling us to feed the tank more and have bright SPS.

trueperc
07/02/2010, 07:40 AM
Maybe what is missing, is understanding the true amount of the pellets needs to match each tanks nutrition level/bio load and maybe really as with any carbon dosing some tanks might really need a lot in order to see that reduction. I can atest to this as with gfo I was going by what the back of the container said and I was not able to even put a dent in my phos, the I went on bulkreef and got a better understand of how much gfo I trully needed to be able to bring down and keep my phos at zero. I needed at least 4 cups worth of gfo and happy to say my phos is zero, now for these pellets, I too have some on the way but even my really really high bio load I am started out with 3 liters on a 210.
I believe this stuff works and can work well. Its just understand the product more.

bertoni
07/02/2010, 04:40 PM
If the tank isn't carbon-limited for bacterial growth, the dosing won't do any good. It's also possible that there are other issues involved.

builderguy
07/14/2010, 10:43 AM
going to jump on this bandwagon too...also wondering which pellet is producing consistent results.

Stuart60611
07/14/2010, 01:54 PM
If the tank isn't carbon-limited for bacterial growth, the dosing won't do any good. It's also possible that there are other issues involved.

Is this entirely true? My understanding is that not only do these pellets add carbon to the system as a food source for the bacteria, but they, unlike traditional carbon sources, such as vodka, also provide a porous high surface area medium for the bacteria to colonize. By also providing a lot more surface area to grow bacteria, do not these pellets also help systems which are not carbon limited?

bertoni
07/14/2010, 03:29 PM
Well, that's an interesting point that I overlooked. Honestly, though, I don't think the bacterial population is surface-limited in most tanks. I'll have to think about that, but experience with products like the SeaChem De*Nitrate and zeolites seem to indicate that surface area alone sometimes isn't the only factor.

Stuart60611
07/14/2010, 03:42 PM
Well, that's an interesting point that I overlooked. Honestly, though, I don't think the bacterial population is surface-limited in most tanks. I'll have to think about that, but experience with products like the SeaChem De*Nitrate and zeolites seem to indicate that surface area alone sometimes isn't the only factor.

Ya, this also brings to my mind bioballs. As we all know, although bioballs have quite a bit of surface area for bacteria to grow, bioballs cannot break down nitrate to nitrogen gas because they are not dense enough to create the oxygen free environment necessary to grow denitrifying bacteria. As such, I would imagine that although there may be substantial surface area available in most tanks for bacteria to grow, is this existing surface area suitable to house denitrifying bacteria? My thought is that most tanks are, indeed, fairly limited on having suitable places for denitrifying bacteria to colonize which these pellets do provide. As such, they may have some substantial value independent of whether the tank is carbon limited or not because they provide space for denitrifying bacteria where such space is indeed limited.

bertoni
07/14/2010, 03:49 PM
I don't know whether the pellets would tend to be more like live rock or like bio-balls. Supposedly, the bio-balls are fairly porous, but that's not going to be very useful if the surface gets covered with a bacterial mat or its equivalent.

Stuart60611
07/14/2010, 03:54 PM
I don't know whether the pellets would tend to be more like live rock or like bio-balls. Supposedly, the bio-balls are fairly porous, but that's not going to be very useful if the surface gets covered with a bacterial mat or its equivalent.

Well, annecdotal information seems to overwhelmingly indicate that they act more like live rock than bioballs because there are numerous reports of a substantial reduction of nitrate when using the pellets. No matter how much bioballs you add to your system, you will never reduce your nitrate levels because the denitrifying bacteria cannot colonize the bioballs effectively. Here, it appears fairly clear that denitrifying bacteria are, indeed, colonizing these pellets effectively because the resulting drop in nitrate readings when using the pellets.

bertoni
07/14/2010, 04:52 PM
Well, that's not clear. Their effectiveness might be due to the carbon dosing, which makes them very different from bio-balls and live rock.

Stuart60611
07/14/2010, 05:17 PM
Well, that's not clear. Their effectiveness might be due to the carbon dosing, which makes them very different from bio-balls and live rock.


That's a good point.

jascymcl
08/08/2010, 01:24 PM
well i am using the ecoback and they seem to worh better than expected. a friend had 30ppm nitrate installed the pills,had a bacteria bloom for about a day,that cleared up 6 days later nitrates were measured and only had 5ppm.it was not her hype becuase i was the one who tested her water.

sjm817
08/08/2010, 02:12 PM
I wouldn't doubt that all of this comes from a couple of suppliers and is just being re-branded.

Radioheadx14
08/08/2010, 06:36 PM
I wouldn't doubt that all of this comes from a couple of suppliers and is just being re-branded.
I think you are probably not far off from the truth... I think I remember reading that only a few places around the world manufactures the polymer used.

By the way, I just started with the vertex brand yesterday.

poolkeeper1
08/08/2010, 06:36 PM
That's already a known fact, I read on one of these pellet threads there are two major mfg's to aquire these from.
Bill

soulsigma
08/08/2010, 09:06 PM
I started with the NP Bio-pellets back in October of this year, then I top them off with NX Bio-pellets and then the Vertex Bio-pellets so I am running a bio-pellet cocktail which has improved my tank from what it was a year ago. As I am approaching the one year mark I can say for myself and my tank things just keep getting better but the skimmer continues to be "one hot mess." Know that in this hobby bad things happen fast and good thins come slowly. Also keep in mind every tank is different so will be the response time of when the pellets will kick in and create a true ULNS. Took me eight whole months to get to 0 No3 & 0 P04 and now I am waiting for my corals to recovery and color up after spending Almost a year in high nitrate and Phosphate conditions, hopefully by the spring of next year the now brown sticks will be as colorful as a box of Crayola's .